Story By: MATT CLEARY / WHELEN ENGINEERING RACING – DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Whelen Engineering will be looking for strong start to begin the defense of its 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype titles when it returns to Daytona International Speedway on Friday to begin the Roar Before the Rolex 24.
Felipe Nasr returns as full-time driver of the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, and will be joined by new co-driver Pipo Derani, the 2016 winner of the Rolex 24. Two-time IMSA Prototype Class Driver Champion Eric Curran returns as the team’s endurance specialist for 2019 as he looks to score a second consecutive Michelin Endurance Cup.
More than a test, the Roar also includes a special qualifying session on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. ET to determine the pit lane assignments and garage allocations for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 26-27.
All competitors will be using the new Michelin tires that will be raced in 2019 WeatherTech Championship competition.
The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac posted a second-place finish in the 2018 Rolex 24, giving Action Express Racing a 1-2 finish in the Daytona classic with Nasr, Curran, Mike Conway and Stuart Middleton in the event.
This will be the Whelen Engineering team’s fifth consecutive year running the Rolex 24, scoring sixth-place overall finishes from 2015 through 2017.
The three-day session begins with two hours, 45 minutes of testing on Friday, starting at 9:45 a.m. ET. Saturday’s three sessions include a 75-minute night practice, with the Roar concluding with two practice periods on Sunday, concluding with a session from 2:45-3:45 p.m..